Canadian coal production has been around 60 million tonnes over the last decade however in 2011 coal production increased to 67 million tonnes. 38 million tonnes (56%) was thermal coal produced mainly in the prairies and 29 million tonnes was metallurgical (steel-making) coal, produced in Western Alberta and B.C.

To meet its rapid infrastructure growth and consumer demand for things such as vehicles and home appliances, Asia has turned to Canada for its high-quality steel-making coal. As Canada’s largest coal trading partner, coal exports to Asia accounted for 73% of total exports in 2010.

Steel-Making Coal

Global steel production is dependent on coal and more and more the world is turning to Canada for its supply of quality steel-making coal.

  • Steel-making coal production increased to 28 million tonnes in 2010 from 23 million tonnes in the previous year.
  • Almost all of Canada’s steel-making coal produced was exported.

Thermal Coal

  • Approximately 40 million tonnes of thermal coal was produced in 2010.
  • The vast majority of Canadian thermal coal produced is used domestically, with only 6 million tonnes exported in 2010.

More information on coal production and exports can be found in Natural Resources Canada’s 2011 Coal Report.